Storage Tips for Tax Time


Time for Taxes? Time for Storage

It is officially that time of year again – April 15th is right around the corner and we all know what that means. Tax time is not a particularly joyous part of the year for anyone, however with these tips from Canal Road you can store your tax time documents with ease. Before you do, keep in mind you can get a six-month extension as long as you file Form 4868 on or before the deadline.

What Do I Store in Tax Time Storage?

Dispose of receipts and warranties for out-of-warrenty items with peace of mind, as neither of these are essential for record keeping. Also feel free to toss receipts for non-tax deductible, minor purchases. Other items that aren’t worth hanging onto include Bank deposit slips, ATM and credit card receipts once these items have cleared on your statements.

The following list includes items worth hanging onto:

  • Receipts for any tax-deductible expense should be held onto for seven years. Keep canceled checks, W-2 forms, 1099 forms and year-end credit card statements for that same period of time. If your phone and utility bills are business-related, you should retain those for seven years, too. If they’re not, one year is safe.
  • Monthly bank, credit card and mortgage statements (up to one year)
  • Paycheck stubs should be kept until they are reconciled with W-2 or 1099 forms.
  • Home improvement records (Indefinitely)
  • Auto titles (Indefinitely)
  • Insurance policies (Indefinitely)
  • Property deeds (Indefinitely)
  • Stock and bond certificates (Indefinitely)
  • Financial service annual summaries (Indefinitely)
  • Annual tax returns (Indefinitely)

You can check the IRS website or speak with a financial consultant for more detailed guidelines.

Financial Paperwork Organization

How are your receipts currently organized? If they’re all stuffed haphazardly into an old, unused crock pot or drawer, you can make things a lot easier on yourself come tax time if you start working on a new system now. At the very least, you should separate receipts into a few categories:

  • Major purchases (for assistance with warranties, insurance claims, etc.)
  • Property, vehicles and improvements or repairs to either as you may need to record gains, losses and depreciation eventually
  • Deductible items for this year’s tax return

After you get everything in order, it’s a good idea to file any new receipts you acquire immediately according to your new system. At the very least, set aside some time weekly to deal with the new batch of documents you’ve accumulated.

Document Storage Tips

Whether you’re storing your tax (and other important) documents in your home or in a self-storage facility, it’s important to take precautions. Make sure the location is secure with limited access from outside parties. Storing your most important documents in a fire safe may keep the elements and thieves at bay.

If possible, make backups of documents and keep them in more than one location. When packing papers into boxes, don’t exceed 30-50lbs for safer lifting. Elevate whatever type of document storage solution you choose, and use airtight packaging to protect against water damage and mildew.

If you are looking to store your tax time documents in a safe place, Canal Road Self Storage is a great solution. Though these tips will work for any storage unit at our facility, we highly recommend our customers use a climate controlled storage unit when storing important paperwork. Climate controlled storage units maintain steady heat and humidity levels – minimizing the risk of weather-related damage.

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